Tips for Success with Personal Injury Claims for Whiplash
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Apr 19, 2017 in Car Accidents
If you were involved in an accident, particularly a rear-end car accident, there is a good chance you have whiplash.
This soft-tissue injury occurs when the muscles and tendons in the neck are extended and contracted in quick succession, almost like the cracking of a whip.
Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and stiffness and limited range of motion in the neck.
Whiplash can also cause more severe side effects, including:
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Trouble remembering things
- Disturbances in sleep
Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, you may be able to file an auto accident injury claim to recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
If you decide to pursue a claim, our auto accident lawyers in South Bend advise you to take several important steps right after the accident to improve your chances of success.
Go to a Doctor Immediately
This is crucial, even if you are not in pain or experiencing other symptoms of whiplash.
Sometimes symptoms of whiplash do not appear for hours or days after the accident. Other times symptoms are masked by adrenaline and cortisol, which are released into the bloodstream in high-stress situations, like car accidents.
Fortunately, a qualified medical professional will know how to discover signs of whiplash even if you do not notice your symptoms.
Whiplash can be a very severe injury so seeking treatment right away could speed up your recovery.
Seeking immediate treatment also helps to prevent insurance companies, judges and juries from being suspicious about the legitimacy of your claim.
This is important because whiplash claims are often looked at with suspicion, no matter how severe the injury.
Immediate treatment helps you counter arguments from insurers and others that you are just trying to get money or that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident.
Choose a Qualified Medical Professional
You may be tempted to seek treatment from a doctor or medical facility that claims it can obtain maximum compensation for your personal injury.
However, these facilities and doctors are not looking out for your best interests. They are known for running up medical expenses, which makes it much more difficult to obtain fair compensation for your insurance claim.
To make matters worse, the insurance company may not provide enough compensation to cover all of the excessive medical bills, forcing you to pay them out of your own pocket.
Stick to credible medical professionals and you will have a much easier time working with the insurance adjuster.
Avoid Independent Medical Examinations
You are under no obligation to submit to an independent medical examination (IME) ordered by the insurance adjuster. This is only a requirement in no-fault states, which Indiana is not.
The danger of an IME is that the physician is chosen by the insurance adjuster because he or she has consistently agreed with the insurance company. This could do severe damage to your chances of recovering fair compensation.
Compile as Much Evidence as Possible
- Bills and receipts for all medical expenses
- Pictures from the scene of the accident
- Pictures of your injuries
- CT scans
- Documentation of all hospital and doctor's office visits
- Documentation of missed time at work
- Police report about the crash
These pieces of evidence help to prove the legitimacy of your claim and show how much compensation you are entitled.
File an Insurance Claim as Soon as Possible
The sooner you file an insurance claim, the sooner you can recover compensation. You also want to avoid missing any deadlines the insurance company has for starting a claim.
It is best to only discuss the facts with the insurance adjuster, such as the basic details about the crash. The police report and your medical records will provide the adjuster with a lot of the other information he or she needs.
If you start discussing your opinions or feelings about what happened, you could overstate your injuries or minimize the severity of your injuries. These mistakes could hurt your chances of success with the claim.
Seek Legal Representation As Soon As Possible
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you build your case after an accident. He or she can represent you with the insurance company and help ensure your best interests are protected.
If you think you suffered whiplash in a car accident, contact the attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak today for a free, no obligation consultation.